12 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

1969’s Good Times contains two albums in one, each emblematic of prevailing trends in country music in the late '60s. Side One is a gentle, almost brooding folk album in the style of Mickey Newbury, who wrote the album’s crown jewel — a hauntingly sung version of “Sweet Memories.” Side Two is full of Nelson originals embellished by strings and choirs, symbolic of the era’s pop-oriented “Nashville Sound.” Side One focuses on the intensity and sensitivity of Nelson’s singing, especially with “December Day” and “She’s Still Gone.” While the string overdubs are sometimes distracting, Side Two boasts some great recordings of classic Willie songs, including “Ashamed,” “A Wonderful Yesterday,” and “Permanently Lonely,” equally elegant and forlorn. In the grand tradition of cognitive dissociation in country, the album cover has nothing to do with the music, but it is nonetheless a classic shot, reminding fans that among musicians, Nelson was an enduring and early proponent of golf-as-pastime.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1969’s Good Times contains two albums in one, each emblematic of prevailing trends in country music in the late '60s. Side One is a gentle, almost brooding folk album in the style of Mickey Newbury, who wrote the album’s crown jewel — a hauntingly sung version of “Sweet Memories.” Side Two is full of Nelson originals embellished by strings and choirs, symbolic of the era’s pop-oriented “Nashville Sound.” Side One focuses on the intensity and sensitivity of Nelson’s singing, especially with “December Day” and “She’s Still Gone.” While the string overdubs are sometimes distracting, Side Two boasts some great recordings of classic Willie songs, including “Ashamed,” “A Wonderful Yesterday,” and “Permanently Lonely,” equally elegant and forlorn. In the grand tradition of cognitive dissociation in country, the album cover has nothing to do with the music, but it is nonetheless a classic shot, reminding fans that among musicians, Nelson was an enduring and early proponent of golf-as-pastime.

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